In Like a Hawk

sudden, you were there—or
sudden, I caught sight of you
there, in the crabapple, too large,
proud, still, as it swayed and bobbed

feeders wild-gyrate in the wind
that lifted your chest feathers
like an impertinent hand
(that blaze of white!)

but majesty is ever unruffled
and if there is a king of birds
in this yard, your calm red eye
sleek head turning, turning claims it

fixing my restless form
in these shadows behind glass,
behind curtains, hold-not-holding
my breath and how long I gaze
but turn away first, wondering

what sign, omen, message
did you bring: that I should keep watchful?
be patient, unmoved? make eye contact
and my presence known, then fly on
when no one’s looking

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